Stuck in Arthur’s Pass

After the sand fly fiasco, we were ready for a great day. We had been really looking forward to this place, as the pictures looked awesome, and now we had a gloriously sunny day to enjoy it in.

At the top of the very steep pass, Trevor realized the engine was getting a little warm. We pulled over to let it cool down. There was a bubbling sound coming from the back, but the nice thing about having minimal mechanical knowledge is that sometimes you can pretend that is normal.
What you can’t pretend is normal is large quantities of bright green coolant leaking from the van. This was what we found when we stepped out to make sandwiches. I put on some hiking boots and Trevor flagged down a car.

The lady who helped us was awesome. She was a lawyer who was running late for a court appointment in Christchurch, but she still paused to give us a ride into town. It would have been a pretty dangerous road to walk, so we were grateful. Thanks, Laura!!
We set up camp on the porch of a cafe. Really, the only cafe in town. There were Kea hopping all over, stealing sandwiches and pies. As they weren’t my sandwiches or pies, it was pretty amusing. The restaurant actually had water bottles on all the tables so you could deter the alpine parrots.
Anyways, as the only one of our troupe with any sort of international cell coverage, I texted my parents an apology for the international charges we were to receive and called Lucky Rentals. And received no answer. So I called them again. And again. And again.
And again.
To this day, several weeks later, I still have not received a call back. Fortunately, Olivia was able to borrow the phone from the cafe, and they sent our hero, Roadside Roy. Actually, his name is just Roy, but adding Roadside sounded better in the song we wrote as we waited for him.

The whole ordeal took about 6 hours, aka our entire usable day in Arthur’s Pass, and when we were done the result was that Lucky Rentals over fills the coolant on older vehicles, so literally nothing was wrong. Thank goodness?

Published by Andrea Umfleet

Writer, Backpacker, Freelance Technical Editor. Owner of Trask Mountain Editing. I like the Oxford comma.

2 thoughts on “Stuck in Arthur’s Pass

  1. Olivia and Andrea, we are glad you were able to solve your van problem. I hope when this”Lucky Rentals” are to be needed when something else occurs or you need to return the van, nothing unlucky happens. Seems like tourists could see a list of reliable companies. So nice that the Attorney came and assisted all of you, for that we are thankful…Maybe she was a Guardian Angel in human form? Have a great day! We love all of you!! Grandma and Grandpa M! Grandpa says; COME HOME..PLEASE!



    1. She may have been!! She was super sweet 🙂 so far things are going well. I will actually be coming home a bit earlier than I had planned, so I’ll see you at the end of February 🙂 we love you, too!! Tell grandpa we love him!!


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